Monday, April 30, 2012
Friday, January 6, 2012
I first heard the term Combat Weaselcraft from the great trainer of them all, Massad Ayoob. It is the art of using all the dirty tricks in your repertoire to save your butt in a bad situation. Be sneaky, hit below the belt, and no holds barred. You see, in a fight for your life, the scum bag of the day will most likely not care that you’re wearing glasses or have your Sunday best on. In fact, he’ll probably see these disadvantages for you as advantages for him and may be part of the reason he picked you on this lovely day. So if the bad guys don’t care about a ‘fair fight’ then why should you?
Should that fateful day ever find you, be prepared to fight dirty to the bitter end. In a fight for your life nothing is off limits. Gouging out eyes, kicks to the groin and bullets through the lower pelvic region are not only acceptable but possibly preferable. If the bad guys are willing to hurt you in any way possible, to rape you, stab you, leave you lying in a ditch naked bloody and half dead, why should you be afraid to accurately place a knee into a strategic place in the groin? If you find yourself in a hand-to-hand struggle with your pistol out you may not be able to obtain a two handed grip in an isosceles stance, but rather have your pistol in one hand unable to level the sights to your eye. If, in this moment, you find your pistol in line with the perpetrator’s pelvis then take the shot. You will most likely cause the bad guy to drop to the ground and effectively be out of the fight, unable to pursue you further.
A gentleman whom I respect very much for his writings, teaching and experience, Sgt. Rory Miller laid out on his blog Chiron Training his biases and assumptions. Therein he states, among other things, that he expects the threat to have the advantage in size and strength or to be crazy. Advantages in size and strength create a disparity of force. If the person does not have the size or strength advantage then they must be crazy to attack someone bigger and stronger than themselves, thus creating another disparity of force. Funny how that works out. Miller also explains that it is stupid to go into a fight without a weapon, and that unarmed resistance exists purely for emergencies when you didn’t see it coming. After all, if you had seen an attack coming you would have surely armed yourself. Either way, one might say you are fighting dirty. Exactly! Unarmed countermeasures are a result of surprise attacks and should be treated accordingly with any means of survival employed as necessary. Armed responses result from anticipated but unavoidable encounters. Knowing you have a fight coming, trying to avoid it and still having to fight anyway shows a level of commitment on the part of the attacker. This ill intent is your green light to defend yourself as needed.
Where does the red light come? The signal to stop your counter attack comes in two ways; ending of the threat and a shift in your intentions. The shifting of your intentions is a subject to be discussed at length on its own, but suffice it to say that if you no longer act out of fear for your life but in a mind of vengeance, then you are receiving the signal to stop your attack. On the other hand, if your attacker ceases to be a threat to you then you must stop defending yourself. This change of dynamic can come about in several ways too. Perhaps your attacker has secured your purse and is running away. That would be a good time to stop trying to shoot him. Say your attacker is down on the ground with several new perforations in his body. He may or may not be a threat to your livelihood. Keep an eye on this suspect, scan the area for accomplices, and prepare to defend yourself further if needed. Your daughter’s date tried to get a little fresh in the theater and she slapped him across the face. When you arrive to pick them up you see your smiling daughter and a very embarrassed young man with a hand print across his left cheek. That threat has not only been neutralized but possibly cured from further recidivism. Drop him off at home and take your daughter out for ice-cream.
No matter the situation that arises, we must train to be ready to defend our lives and the lives of our family and loved ones. Remember the Heinlein quote at the top of this site: The price of freedom is the willingness to do sudden battle anywhere, any time and with utter recklessness.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Why We Carry
Most of us have not chosen to carry because we want to prove ourselves to be macho men or better people. We haven’t taken on the grave burden and awesome responsibility of concealing a firearm for the protection of our lives and the lives of our family members so that we can look cool to our friends. We don’t have a desire to end the life of ANYONE. And we certainly don’t carry guns because we like the discussions we have with police about it.
Over the years I’ve read a lot of reasons why people carry guns. Some say a cop is too heavy; as if they would let someone else risk life and limb where they would not for themselves. Some say that they only carry into a bad neighborhood; which begs one to question why they would go there anyway. Some say they carry because it is their God given Constitutional right to do so; not a bad answer. I carry because my life, and the life of my family, is worth fighting for. I carry because I know that there is no such thing as a safe neighborhood. I carry because bad things happen to good people every day and it is my responsibility to protect the life I have been given. Regardless of your reason for carrying, know your reason so that you can remain focused when dealing with the other issues that concealed carry brings.
Concealed Means Concealed
It’s pretty simple when you think about it. Carrying a concealed firearm means nobody knows it’s there and no one can see it. Period! If no one knows you’re carrying and the gun cannot be seen then you have no need to tell anyone you have it. Barring magnetometers or full body pat-downs, zip your lips and carry on. Let the lemmings go about their day not knowing that a scary gun is in their presence and remain protected. By giving away the fact that you are carrying you have given up your element of surprise, your tactical advantage, and in many places you have given up your ability to protect your family. Additionally, you may well have confessed to having committed a crime (as in the above mentioned cases) that will land you in jail for a minimum of three and one half years. Be it the choosing of appropriate cover garments or being sure to keep your big mouth shut, remember: Concealed Means Concealed.
In some jurisdictions signs carry legal bearing as is the case for Texas’s 30.06 signs. This means that the posting of a sign on property makes it illegal to carry there, for you have been fore warned, legally speaking. However, in most areas a sign is just that, a sign. In my current Rocky Mountain AO a sign on the door saying no guns allowed is usually ignored by those who know better. However, if one were to carry on to private property and be discovered, asked to leave and then refuse to leave, the person would be trespassing. That’s a crime I understand. Signs are much like the Pirate’s Code; it’s more of a suggestion. Signs are a way for sniveling pansies to think they’re doing something when in fact they are simply wasting their own time and money. I would be much more impressed by a sign that says “Concealed Carry Welcome Here” as I would be sure to frequent such an establishment as often as possible.
Just because something is the law does not mean it is right. We, in this country, seem to think that once something is codified into law that it MUST be followed. Little do we often realize that turning something into law does not automatically make it into some great commandment from on High. If some Senator from the left coast were to introduce a bill making murder legal across the country, and it were signed into law, would that make it right to murder? Of course it would not. Similarly, passing a law making it illegal to protect yourself with the best tool available to man doesn’t make it right to do so either. I have great respect for the law when it is law that respects the rights of man. Law passed that denies the freedom of man and does not protect individual liberty is not good law and should NOT be followed!
Let us bring the story back to our original two hapless travelers in the Big Apple. Both citizens seemed to have thought it was within the law for them to carry in the city, and it wasn’t. They respected bad law and flapped their jaws to give themselves up. By doing so they were no longer concealing their firearm, if only verbally. They forgot why they carried and now they no longer have their freedom or their gun. If nothing else they are guilty of felony stupid.
My final thoughts are simple. Educate yourself. Learn the laws around you so that you know what pot holes to avoid. Don’t give yourself up. Don’t talk to police if you don’t have to and don’t tell them any more than they ask (and think about that twice). Keeping your gun on you and concealed is a top priority for you, don’t forget it. And lastly, know your own reasons for carry, morals and values. If your feet are firmly planted in righteous soil then you will never be in the wrong no matter what some bureaucrat says.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
John Farnam uses the motto “Nemo Curat” for Defensive Training International (DTI), which literally translated means “Nobody Cares.” Here at the Twistedwire ranch we’ve altered this slightly to the more palatable “Bad Guys Don’t Care.” It’s a motto taken seriously and brought up regularly in conversation. Allow me to demonstrate the use of the phrase and hopefully influence you to accept it into your lexicon and make it part of your day-to-day mindset.
We all love a good trip to the range right? Of course, but most of us look out the window before we head out to see if the weatherman’s coin toss was right today. If we see rain, cold, or other inclement weather out the window we might change our minds and decide to stay in. Then comes the proverbial dark and stormy night when you’re rushing out to your car to head home from work. Suddenly you’re confronted with a soaking wet attacker holding a gun on you demanding your wallet. Your hands are cold and numb, your overcoat is covering your gun with an extra layer, your glasses are dotted with blurring raindrops, and you realize then and there what you’ve done. You scheduled a time to practice for just this even last week but canceled because it was cold and rainy. Now your life is in danger because you didn’t want a little discomfort or extra gun cleaning last week. Guess what, BAD GUYS DON’T CARE!
You’re visiting your friends in Dallas and they meet you at a local eatery. Bad thing is that the restaurant makes more than 51% of their profits from alcohol so it’s illegal for you to carry inside. Instead of suggesting to your friends that a trip to another restaurant would be better you discretely slip off your gun and go in with them. While you’re inside some hooligan who’s had about nine too many decides he doesn’t like you or someone at your table and pulls a gun threatening to shoot. You reach for your trusty firearm on your hip and find nothing! The bad guy ignored the law but you kept from insulting your friend’s choice in restaurants. Once again, BAD GUYS DON’T CARE!
You find yourself in a self defense situation but you’re carrying your trusty Smith & Wesson 642 (J frame, five shot, 38 spl) instead of the Glock that you normally train with because it’s got a high round count, is cheap and easy to shoot, and looks cooler with your training buddies. Now you pause for half a second because your hand doesn’t know where to go, the trigger pull is foreign to you, and you’re looking right over the much smaller sights. And let’s not forget that you only have five rounds to work with instead of 16. So you left your well trained gun at home and have the one you never shoot on you when you need a gun the most; BAD GUYS DON’T CARE!
You left your daughter at home while you and your wife took a trip out for the weekend. She’s old enough to spend the night by herself, she’s very responsible, and she’s a good kid all around. Sure you worry, like any good parent would, but it’ll be ok and it’ll be good for her anyway. Just to be sure though, you leave a list of emergency numbers by the phone, you go over how to call 911, review the rules of the house (like no boys or alcohol) and remind her that there’s a shotgun behind the bedroom door. You leave and she settles in for a night of movies, popcorn and chatting on the phone with her boyfriend. A few minutes after midnight she hears a knock at the front door but she doesn’t answer, just like you taught her. The man at the door wants in and starts pounding and kicking at the door so she calls the police, just like you taught her. After the 911 call she is in fear that he’ll make it through the door so she goes to the safe room, the master bedroom, just like you taught her. She hears the front door give way in a terrible crash of broken glass, splintering wood and collision with the tile floor. Your beautiful teenage daughter reaches for the shotgun you leave behind the door in a cruiser safe configuration (empty chamber, loaded magazine, safety on, slide locked forward). She tucks the stock under her elbow because it’s to big for her to shoulder and points it at the door where the bad guy is about to come through. She goes to rack the slide and chamber a round but it wont budge. She turns off the safety and still nothing. She sees the bad guy coming at her and squeezes the trigger with only a click of the hammer falling. It’s to late. She didn’t know to unlock the slide to chamber a round because you never taught her that. You failed your daughter, and BAD GUYS DON’T CARE!
We could go on and on with these kinds of stories and hypotheticals. The fact of the matter is that you can make excuses all day long for why you do or don’t do this, why you do or don’t know that, and why you have or haven’t got something. The fact remains that they’re just excuses and BAD GUYS DON’T CARE! If you know you need to do something and you don’t then you’re negligent at best, and dead at worst. You know you should carry a gun all the time and yet you leave it at home when it’s not comfortable or it’s to too hot out. You know you need to take a shooting class but it’s expensive and you’d rather spend that weekend on the golf course. You know that your windows and doors need to be locked but you’re only going to be gone for an hour or two. You know you should have kept a training file and kept telling yourself you’ll do it next week. I implore you; take care of business now, don’t wait for tomorrow. Prepare yourself today for what might happen tonight. Be prepared because BAD GUYS DON’T CARE!
Personal Note: This post was inspired by a very spirited conversation I had with my best friend after his home was broken into. Fortunately no one was home and only ‘stuff’ was taken. However, the emotional impact is still very present and will be hard to get over. While the points mentioned above will not always keep crime from happening to you or your property, they will help keep you safe. Create an island of security around you at all times, stay aware, and learn from the mistakes of yourself and others.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Make My Day Shooter: ‘I Did The Right Thing’
DENVER (CBS4)- A 17-year-old who was shot and killed after breaking into a northeast Denver home last May was under the influence of alcohol, marijuana and opiates according to a CBS4 Investigation.
“I didn’t know that,” responded his mother, Cynthia Gonzales, when CBS4 showed her the toxicology report for her son, Marcus Duran.
It shows the teen tested positive for alcohol, opiates and THC- the active ingredient in marijuana- on May 24, 2010.
In the early morning hours, Duran and two other teens broke into a woman’s home setting off her burglar alarm. In a terrifying call to 911, the woman told a police dispatcher she is home alone because her husband is out of town.
“I’m in my room and the door is locked,” the woman said, as the burglar alarm blared in the background. “It sounded like someone got in through my window,” she sobbed. .“Please hurry- my husband’s out of town.”
Duran and his two teenage friends fled, but didn’t go far. They decided to break into another nearby home and rob the homeowner. They chose Darrell Kutchin’s two story home. It would be a fatal mistake for Duran.
Kutchin is a professional masseuse. He was asleep in his basement, but he kept a loaded gun nearby, tucked inside a sock.
“I heard this crash. It sounded like a freight train. I thought it was a car accident,” Kutchin said of the sound of the three teens breaking down his front door and moving through his house. “It sounded like a herd of elephants, a lot of things above me.”
Kutchin grabbed his loaded handgun- a Taurus Judge- so named because judges carry this type of weapon in their courtrooms for self- defense. The gun shoots .410 buckshot or .45 caliber bullets.
Gun at his side, Kutchin walked upstairs.
“I’m yelling ‘Who’s in my house? Who’s in my house?’ I was scared,” said Kutchin.
Suddenly, the three teens came running down from the second floor. Marcus Duran was carrying a loaded pistol. As he neared the front door, about five feet away from Kutchin, Duran brandished the loaded gun and aimed it at the homeowner. Duran was still inside Kutchin’s home.
“And I just reacted in a defensive stance and took a shot,” said Kutchin.
The round missed its target. Kutchin said he could see Duran’s pistol.
“I saw a gun pointed at me and I shot,” said Kutchin.
The second round found its mark, hitting Duran in the head. The two other teens fled. Kutchin, who has first aid training, tried to administer medical assistance to Duran who had fallen on Kutchin’s front stoop. But the teen was dead.
“There were some errors in judgment made on that night when the individuals entered my house. I’m not a vigilante,” says Kutchin.
“I’m a law abiding homeowner that happens to be armed,” said Kutchin, in his first interview about the shooting.
Asked if he would do the same thing again, Kutchin says he would.
The Denver District Attorney’s office cleared Kutchin of any criminal wrongdoing, ruling his actions were justified under Colorado law.
But across town, Marcus Duran’s mother, Cynthia Gonzales, is still questioning what happened that night.
“I don’t understand why he (Kutchin) couldn’t have done a warning shot or shot him in his leg. They didn’t fire shots. They were scared and running out when it happened,” said Gonzales.
Darrell Kutchin said there was no time for warning shots or shooting to wound.
“I saw a gun pointed at me and I shot, no time to think about shooting him in the leg. And if you fire a warning shot, you are putting your neighbors in harm’s way,” said Kutchin.
Besides said Kutchin, in the time it would take to fire a warning shot, he believes Duran could have shot and killed him.
“My Godson did wrong, but he didn’t deserve to die,” said Phyllis Chavez, Duran’s godmother.
“I don’t think it was fair the way he(Kutchin) shot freely. Do it in the air. Why was he aiming at them if they are running away? That’s the part I don’t understand,” said Chavez.
“It happened so quickly it was reactive, instinct,” said Kutchin.
He said there was no time to ponder options or deliberate.
“My life was in harm’s way. There’s no doubt in my mind if I wasn’t in the presence of mind to defend myself I wouldn’t be here today,” said Kutchin.
Since his death, Duran’s mother and godmother have both received tattoos as reminders of the teenager they loved. His mother wears a heart shaped pendant around her neck. Inside are some of Marcus Duran’s ashes. Kutchin said he is slowly healing from what happened.
“The fact that someone chose to lose their life in my house, in my surroundings with actions that I reacted to, that’s hard, mentally. Someone tried to make me a victim of something but I choose to be a victor. And by choosing to be a victor, I’m going to get healthy,” said Kutchin.
Kutchin said beyond the anguish over what happened, he has spent $5,000 on attorneys fees, another $1,000 on his insurance deductible and countless hours dealing with police, prosecutors and court personnel.
As part of the healing, he gave one of the teenage offenders several self-help books in an attempt to help the young man choose the correct path. One of the books was ‘”How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. The other was Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich.”
Both of the teens who escaped that night are behind bars, in connection with the two break ins last May.
Kutchin said his heart goes out to the family of Marcus Duran. But he says he owes no apologies.
“I did the right thing. He was an individual who made an error in judgment that was very costly. It was an error in judgment that he chose to end his life,” said Kutchin.
-First of all, I want to know who this guy’s lawyer was. He said exactly the right things. Take note he never says he’s sorry or that he’d do things differently. He shows himself to be the victim turned victor and the young punk for the thug he is.
-The Taurus Judge, while for some reason a very popular gun, is NOT known as the Judge because judges carry it. This gun is an interesting combination of shotgun and pistol, and doesn’t do either very well. Most judges I know carry some form of major caliber semi-auto with few exceptions.
-As an armchair quarterback I’ll say the one major thing this guy did wrong: DON’T go looking for trouble. This gentleman was in a relatively secured position within his basement which most likely had only one narrow access point. He would have been much better off to have stayed behind cover in the basement and guarded the stairwell to ensure no one came down to greet him. Yelling something to the effect of “Don’t come in the basement, I have a gun!” would have been rather effective. He might also have avoided being forced to remove the offending trespasser had he done so. With Denver’s progressive prosecutors it is somewhat surprising that this tactic didn’t come up when deciding to file charges. It could be said that he went looking for a fight. While this isn’t true, the argument could be made.
-The law-abiding homeowner did exactly the right thing by not intentionally firing a warning shot. If you fire a gun in self-defense it should only be because you fear for your life and need to stop a threat. That’s exactly what this gentleman did. While the first shot effectively did become a warning shot due to a miss, he quickly regrouped and followed up with an effective life saving round placed.
-To continue the last point, don’t alternate your ammo. Alternating buckshot and slugs is a BAD idea. This man needed to stop a threat on the first shot and didn’t need nor want his gun to scare the offender. Having missed with the first, that second shot became his lifesaver. Any attempt to alternate types of ammunition loaded in your gun will only prove to cause trouble for you when the flag flies.
-Lastly, be prepared and have a plan. No exceptions.